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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Get to Know The Picky Eater

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Hi Everyone! In celebration of my new blog design and a couple of other fun features (like my Picky Eater Foodie Shop!), I decided to switch things up a bit and write a more reflective post about my blog, my food philosophy, and how The Picky Eater came about. I wanted to share a little more about myself with all of you (in addition to what’s already there on my About Me and Welcome pages). So here goes – hope you enjoy this post!

. . .

I grew up a “whole wheat” girl, but I married a “white bread” guy. I was raised in the healthy-eating, organic-obsessed, farmer’s market-driven culture of the San Francisco Bay Area; he grew up in the deep-dish pizza-loving suburbs of Chicago. My childhood was filled with fruits, vegetables and home cooked meals–I was raised to be “picky” about what I put into my body and to eat junk food in moderation. For him, ice cream and french fries were a way of life. I remember the day my dad actually brought home a donut–he cut it up into eighths and gave my brother and me a small piece to taste (yes, this actually happened in my house). Meanwhile, there’s my future husband, halfway across the country, in the middle of his standard daily breakfast of three donuts and milk.

When most people get married, they worry about things like money or in-laws. But when we got married, the question was: What would the picky eater and her fast food husband eat for dinner? I realized that the only way I would be able to bridge the gap between my husband’s “white bread” world and my “wheat bread” world would be to cook healthy versions of foods that my husband enjoyed. And so, at the age of 24, I taught myself to cook.

Gradually, I started making healthier swaps in my husband’s diet, “sneaking” in the good stuff without him noticing. Slowly but surely he began to identify different flavors like cumin, ginger, and garlic, and he even started asking for vegetables in his dishes! He said it was because he learned that healthy food could taste good, which meant the world to me. My blog was inspired by my husband’s transformation and my desire to share our experience with others. My food passion became a food mission.

I’d like to think of myself as both a food lover and a food educator. I truly believe that food can be a means towards a healthier, happier lifestyle, and my blog has shown me that I can share my passion for healthy food with all of you! Through marriage and through food, I’ve learned  that you can’t force healthy food on people: you need to make it accessible, easy, and mainstream. Instead of imposing something new on them, you have to meet people where they are. You have to allow them to change at their own pace. My food passion revolves around my “picky eater” philosophy: sharing healthy, flavorful, home-cooked meals along with the food lessons I learned growing up. My blog has become a great way to connect with people all over the world through food. In the meantime, though, I’ll keep working on my “white bread” husband.


20 responses to “Get to Know The Picky Eater”

  1. Hey Anjali …..

    Thanx a ton for all the wonderful and healhty recipes. Especially I love the soups that u made. Sweet n spicy carrot bisque and butternut squash are my fav’s. Not to forget the potato and kale cakes and walnut sage pesto:) … All ur dishes are easy to make and with ingrediants that are actually easy to find :)….. it was because of ur blog that i got introduced to so many new vegetables like kale , swiss chard , edamme.. … other wise my cooking was predominantly indian and i used to get bored eating the same dal and sabji daily 🙂 .Ur blog has definately inspired me to cook diffrent cuisines . Now we really enjoy eating home and not getting bored.!!!
    Alll thnx to u … hope to see many more such healthy and wonderful dishes.

    • Thank you for this lovely message Sushma!! I am so glad that my blog has helped you to try different cuisines and dishes, and that you’ve enjoyed the recipes so much!! It’s because of messages like yours that I love blogging so much 🙂 If you want to change up your regular Indian cooking as well, try making a sabji from kale and swiss chard instead of spinach, or butternut squash / zucchini instead of potatoes – I love the combination of Indian spices and you can pretty much add them to any dish to make them taste great! With chana daal, try throwing in some sweet potatoes and kale – it tastes wonderful. Hope this helps you on your culinary journey, and keep up the cooking! 🙂

  2. I just found your site and I’m thrilled! I too am a “whole wheat” girl married to a “white bread” guy. My husband is Southern it’s nothing for his Mom to use an entire stick of butter in one dish! Luckily, he’s open to my making him my guinea pig and trying out all sorts of healthy recipes. He even tried tofu! I love the variety you offer here – I find it hard to find healthy mexican options and it’s my favorite cuisine. Your stuffed peppers look divine! It’s nice to find such a fun and upbeat attitude regarding a healthy lifestyle. You’re cute as a button and I can’t wait to read more – thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Jen!! Thank you soo much for your kind words about my blog! I’m so glad you like my recipes – I’m sure your husband will like them too since they are all “husband approved” 🙂 Love that your story is so similar to mine – isn’t it fun converting our hubbys to eat healthier? I remember being so excited when I got my hubby to eat tofu too! Looking forward to connecting with you more through my blog, and I can’t wait to hear what you and your husband think of the recipes!

  3. I have been trying to get my older brother to eat healthier … what a chore! This may help change my approach from throwing apples and oranges at him to a more subtle introduction to eating healthy! Thanks!

  4. Thanks for posting this. I am a picky eater in training. Doing pretty well I think…so far. I love your new blog design!

  5. What a great post!! I just love it. I know exactly how you feel about having to make things that your husband will eat and not know that they are healthy. I had to go through that with my boyfriend whom I have been dating for 3 years. I was raised the “whole wheat” way too. We were always taught to eat healthy and in good portions. He on the other hand used to eat fast food almost 3 times a week! He now too is asking for vegetables and healthier dishes all the time…can you believe it? I am sure you can…you have seen it first hand too 🙂

    Fantastic idea to post this, so glad to get to know you better!

    • Love that you were raised the “whole wheat” way like I was! And nice job “converting” your boyfriend to eating more vegetables and healthy dishes! We should trade tips on how to get our men to eat healthier 🙂

  6. Thanks so much for this post….and for the wonderful blog you are sharing with us. I am engaged to a wonderful man who SO needs a food overhaul. I have been working to share with him wonderfully, tasty meals that are not loaded with junk. I have made it a point to NOT deprive him of the tastes he loves, just work those into our meals in creative moderation (and the same for my two growing boys).

    I am so happy to have found your blog. I plan to spend free time going through older posts for inspiration and GREAT recipes!

    Thanks again!

    • So nice to meet you Diane! How are things going with your fiance? Have you been able to get him to eat healthier foods in the past few months? Hope you’ve enjoyed my recipes so far!

  7. Ooh, what a great idea for your blog! Your “white bread” husband is incredibly lucky to have you!

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